Book Tastings: Foster a Love of Reading in Upper Elementary

1:29 AM

Today I had students in my classroom fighting over books…. okay, there was no brawl (thank goodness!) but we did have some pretty serious games of Rock, Paper, Scissors going on!

My students were SO EXCITED to get books into their hands, they begged me for more independent reading time.  And you know what, I gave it to them!

This extra few minutes gave me time to go online to both our school’s library system and local county library to place holds on titles that multiple students wanted.  Titles like The Egypt Game, Weasel, and Island of the Blue Dolphins.  I picked up 17 titles from my local library tonight.

Many of these titles students wouldn’t have picked up on their own.  The titles or covers didn’t intrigue them.  But because I presented them to students in an intriguing way, they ate them up…. literally.

We had a book tasting today.

I set our classroom up like a café and greeted them on the way back from specialists with an apron and tray of goodies.  We had soft coffeehouse music going, low lighting, tablecloths, and menus for students to write their selection on.

If you google “Book Tasting” or type it into TpT you’ll find a plethora of resources and ideas; I didn’t make this up, it isn’t anything new.  However, I am here to tell you IT WORKS!

On each table group, I put about 10 books from our class library on a tray.  I picked books purposefully: they fit the genres we are focusing on this trimester, and are well loved but often overlooked titles.  I told students that these are some of my favorite authors and titles, and that I knew, with a little patience and effort, that they would probably be able to find a title that they would enjoy reading.

Then I set the clock for 10 minutes.  They looked through the stack and picked one that piqued their interest.  They were to read the back and get going on the first chapter.  If they read a bit and weren’t intrigued, students picked a different book up, no problem.  At the end of the time, I simply picked up the tray of re-stacked books and rotated them around the room.  Each student got to sample different genres (this time it was Adventure, Fantasy, Award Nominated/Winner, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction.)

I can’t even begin to describe the warm and fuzzy feeling I got listening to the students during this time….

“Can I have that one?  It looks interesting.”
“This book is giving me the chills it is sooooooo good….do we have to switch?!”
“Can I put a post-it on this to claim it?”
“Mrs. Draz, I could read all day for you!”

Have you ever done a book tasting in your classroom?  How did it work for you?  I would love to hear your stories or see your pictures on Instagram (be sure to tag me @drazs_class)

by Sara from Draz's Class

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